Episode 004 - Scrum … Part 2

I’m back from vacation! Thanks to everyone for being patient and waiting for part two of my interview with Rene Tyner regarding Scrum methodology. We’ve received some great feedback on the first part of the interview and I hope you enjoy the rest! Lee and I will be back together for the next podcast when we discuss Politics and Project Management!

Click here to listen to this week’s podcast!


2 Responses to “Episode 004 - Scrum … Part 2”  

  1. 1 Thushara Wijewardena

    Hi Dina and Li,

    Thanks for the Scrum Interviews! Its great..Waiting to listen to more on Scrum Specially the practical issues such as , How you commit on a final deliverable dead lines to the marketing Dpt and Higher management when dealing with uncertain projects, How you stick to your project budgets in such an agile environment. In reality, we all know that all team members are not the same caliber of people. But to practice scrum team work is a must. So how do you deal with team members who doesn’t like to work with such methods.

    All the best !

  2. 2 Dina

    Hi Thushara! I’m glad you enjoyed the Scrum interview … there will be more on Agile concepts and methodologies in the coming months. One of the episodes will be on how to implement Agile concepts or specific Agile methodologies in your organization.

    To help answer your questions now; however, I do have some comments and suggestions:

    - How to deal with team members that don’t like to work with Agile/Scrum methods: Being successful using any project management method takes the agreement/buy-in/commitment of all the team members, stakeholders and sponsors involved in the project. Agile is a different way of doing things and it would be difficult to be successful unless everyone involved is on board with using Agile concepts to execute the project. If you are wanting to try and integrate Agile methods/concepts into your company, identify those team members interested and willing to try something new and take a smaller project to implement your new methods and illustrate success. Sometimes those who are resistent to change are those who just need to be “sold” on the idea by seeing it in action. Or plan on adopting Agile methods a little bit at a time and take some time to bring those team members along that are resistent to the idea. Ultimately, not all projects will be the right type of projects for Agile methods and maybe those non-Agile projects are the ones your less flexible team members work on.

    - How to commit to final deliverable deadlines or budget: Assuming your stakeholders and sponsors are on-board and in agreement with using Scrum or some other type of Agile methodology for the project, you will have a Product Owner as an active team member to help guide to the team to delivering the most important features in the right order. Often times, projects have a fixed deadline but a flexible budget and/or scope. In the planning process, the Product Owner will set the priorities based on what the team can accomplish in a fixed period of time (aka “sprint” or “iteration”). If more needs to be accomplished in order to meet the deadline, and if it makes sense, more resources could be added. Or some of the features requested may not be delivered within that deadline. Ultimately, everyone on the team, including the sponsors and stakeholders, understand that an Agile project by its very nature is very uncertain and because you are creating something very unique and hard to define upfront, it is not very likely you will be able to do exactly what you set off to do. Agile projects are full of discovery along the way and that discovery is what will drive the work for subsequent sprints/iterations. The difference is that your Product Owner is a part of the ride all the way through and together with the project team, will adjust expectations, budgets, deadlines, etc. as the project progresses. Just like in a traditionally managed project, there is the triple constraint - time, scope, cost. If one is fixed, the other two need to have the ability to flex as necessary.

    Let me know if this info helps! Good luck and have fun with Agile!

    Dina


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